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Lately it seems Wesley Snipes has done a large amount of disappearing himself, sighted only in relatively small films save for Art Of War and the upcoming Blade 2. Disappearing Acts is one of those small movies, finding its way onto our favourite format. It's safe to say that not many of you would have heard of this movie, let alone the DVD, so I’ll shed some light on both for you.

Movie
The film is about Zora Banks, a singer/songwriter who is desperately looking for work and a decent man to keep her company. Almost the instant she moves into her new apartment, Zora meets construction worker Franklin Swift, who is a little rough around the edges and directly contrasted to Zora’s personality. Nevertheless, the pair seem to click. The rest of the movie charts the ups and downs of their relationship in a very realistic and interesting manner. The two characters must try to juggle maintaining their love for each other and chasing their (very different) dreams.

Based on a novel by Terry McMillan, the film deals with almost every relationship difficulty under the sun; marriage breakups, epilepsy, financial troubles, unemployment, pregnancy, education and more. This is probably where the film falls down in that it tries to deal with too many issues over the course of the movie, seemingly glossing over some important aspects of adult relationships. However, the competent writing saves the film from being merely a showcase of emotion-charged love scenes and stormy fights, with Wesley Snipes and newcomer Sanaah Lathan working extremely well despite the low-budget nature of the flick.

Snipes is particularly sound as Franklin, proving that you don’t have to be paid a small fortune or star in the big crowd-pullers to turn in a good performance. The writing is based on some thorough characterisation and Snipes, along with an equally impressive Lathan, perform well enough to sustain interest throughout.

Disappearing Acts
Whilst not being remarkable in terms of originality or stunning visuals, Disappearing Acts is definitely one of the better made for TV movies of recent times. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood (of Love & Basketball fame) should be looking at some decent scripts in the future.

Video
Roadshow have come up with another impressive transfer, complimenting the brilliant pictures on their blockbuster titles with serviceable visuals for more lesser-known productions. The film is presented in 1.85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced. Much of the film takes place either at night or in the darkness of an apartment and the transfer holds up well, with solid blacks and sharp definition of colour. There was the odd imperfection here and there, but nothing large enough to distract. Overall the image is wonderfully sharp and deals with both bright and deep colours extremely well.

Disappearing Acts
Audio
There are two audio tracks present on the disc, Dolby Digital 5.1 and a 2.0 soundtrack. Being a dialogue-driven movie there was little action apart from the front speakers, although everything was clear and audible throughout.

With one of the characters being a singer it comes as no surprise that the music in the film plays a big part in the mood and impact of the story. The tracks in the movie sound very impressive, particularly the songs recorded by Zora in the studio during the film.

Extras
Sadly, only a trailer is available for the film. Pretty uninspiring, really. Being made for TV, I doubt much more could have been sourced to add to the supplements, so a trailer is the lonely addition to the disc.

Disappearing Acts
Overall
Disappearing Acts is a solid low-budget flick, strengthened by solid writing and some impressive acting by Snipes and Lathan, the latter seemingly ready to take on some more recognised roles in the future. As for Snipes, he hasn’t been all that active lately on the film front, though the Blade sequel will certainly bring him a little more scrutiny. In the meantime, this film is good viewing, presented on a practically bare-bones disc but with a decent transfer.


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